Paintings Destroyed by Blaze in Oklahoma

Ashes that had been discarded in a plastic polycart are blamed for the blaze in Norman.


Feb. 11--NORMAN -- Artist Tim Kenney lost 30 paintings to a flare-up after a polycart fire spread to a detached garage Monday morning in Norman.

Norman firefighters responded to the call around 7 a.m. at 730 S. Ponca Ave., where they found the south side of the garage on fire, which had spread to the garage's attic, Deputy Fire Chief Jim Bailey said.

While it only took firefighters 20 minutes to extinguish the blaze, numerous hours poured over creating the artwork vanished with the flames.

"It's a setback, but we're very happy no one was hurt," Kenney said. "In the long run, it's just a bump in the road."

Bailey said the fire was caused by ashes that had been discarded in a plastic polycart, which engulfed the polycart and its contents, flaring up the side of the garage and working its way into the attic containing the paintings.

Kenney said the attic garage was where he stored his completed paintings.

Bailey said preliminary damage estimates were about $25,000 to the structure and $25,000 to the contents. Kenney said he couldn't put a value on the paintings destroyed.

"We'll replace the garage and we'll continue to paint," Kenney said about what he plans to do next.

Kenney, who has been a Norman resident since the age of 15, also shows his work in Colorado and New Mexico, where he draws inspiration for the colorful paintings. To view some of his work, visit timkenneyfineart.com.

Jessica Bruha

366-3540

jbruha@normantranscript.com

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